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The Beatles Announce ‘Abbey Road’ 50th Anniversary Release

Beatles Abbey Road Album Cover
Album cover for The Beatles’ Abbey Road

On August 8, 1969 at approximately 11:35am Scottish photographer Iain Macmillan stopped traffic on Abbey Road in London to capture what has arguably become the most iconic Beatles photograph ever taken.

The picture shows the Fab Four striding over the black and white stripes of the pedestrian crossing just outside of the EMI Recording Studios on Abbey Road – where the band recorded their 1969 album by the same name. A white-suited John Lennon leads the group, followed by Ringo Starr wearing a black suit, then McCartney, barefoot and out of step with the others, with George Harrison bringing up the rear in blue denim. A Volkswagon Beetle is parked just behind them.

Perched on a stepladder Macmillan shot only six photos on Abbey Road that day with the fifth of the series being used as the cover for the Beatles’ 11th and penultimate studio album – released on September 26 of that year.

Abbey Road was not The Beatles’ final album, as Let It Be followed in 1970, but it was the last one John, Paul, George, and Ringo recorded together as a band.

It is fitting then that Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol/UMe have chosen August 8, 2019 to announce the release of the 50th Anniversary Abbey Road box set on September 27, 2019.

Available for pre-order, the album’s 17 tracks are newly mixed by producer Giles Martin and mix engineer Sam Okell in stereo, high res stereo, 5.1 surround, and Dolby Atmos, accompanied by 23 session recordings and demos, most of which are previously unreleased.

Watch the trailer for the release below.

All the new Abbey Road releases feature a new stereo 5.1 surround mix, sourced directly from the original eight-track session tapes. To produce the mix, Giles was guided by the album’s original stereo mix supervised by his late father, George Martin.

“The magic comes from the hands playing the instruments, the blend of The Beatles’ voices, the beauty of the arrangements,” Giles Martin explains in his written introduction for the new edition. “Our quest is simply to ensure everything sounds as fresh and hits you as hard as it would have on the day it was recorded.”

The 50th Anniversary release will be available in several formats including a Super Deluxe box set – featuring 40 tracks – including “The Long One” Trial Edit & Mix for the album’s epic Side 2 medley – on three CDs (stereo) and one Blu-ray disc. The four discs are housed in a slip-sleeved 12″ by 12″ 100-page hardbound book with McCartney’s foreword; Martin’s introduction; insightful, in-depth chapters written by Beatles historian, author, and radio producer Kevin Howlett covering the months preceding The Beatles’ Abbey Road sessions, track-by-track details and session notes, the cover art and photo shoot, and the album’s reception upon its release; plus an essay by music journalist and author David Hepworth looking at the album’s influence through 50 years. The book also includes rare and previously unpublished photographs, many taken by Linda McCartney; never before published images of handwritten lyrics, sketches, and a George Martin score; Beatles correspondence, recording sheets, and tape boxes; and reproduced original print ads.

Abbey Road will also be released as a limited edition Deluxe vinyl box set, a Deluxe 2CD set, on 1CD or 180-gram vinyl and in a variety of digital packages.

Since Abbey Road‘s release, the street’s zebra crossing has been one of the most celebrated and photographed sites in the world, protected as an historic landmark and visited by thousands of Beatles fans each year – with a crowd gathering today, August 8, 2019 to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the photo shoot. Due to the success of The Beatles’ album, EMI Recording Studios was renamed Abbey Road Studios in 1970. Owned and operated by Universal Music Group, Abbey Road Studios is the most famous recording studio in the world and a global music icon.

In his forward for the Abbey Road anniversary edition packages Paul McCartney wrote, “The Beatles recording journey had gone through many twists and turns, learning curves and thrilling rides. Here we were – still wondering at the magic of it all.”

Abbey Road 50th Anniversary Edition Trailer

Abbey Road 50th Anniversary Edition Tracklisting

SUPER DELUXE [3CD+1Blu-ray set; digital audio collection]

CD ONE: 2019 Stereo Mix
1. Come Together
2. Something
3. Maxwell’s Silver Hammer
4. Oh! Darling
5. Octopus’s Garden
6. I Want You (She’s So Heavy)
7. Here Comes The Sun
8. Because
9. You Never Give Me Your Money
10. Sun King
11. Mean Mr Mustard
12. Polythene Pam
13. She Came In Through The Bathroom Window
14. Golden Slumbers
15. Carry That Weight
16. The End
17. Her Majesty

CD TWO: Sessions
1. I Want You (She’s So Heavy) (Trident Recording Session & Reduction Mix)
2. Goodbye (Home Demo)
3. Something (Studio Demo)
4. The Ballad Of John And Yoko (Take 7)
5. Old Brown Shoe (Take 2)
6. Oh! Darling (Take 4)
7. Octopus’s Garden (Take 9)
8. You Never Give Me Your Money (Take 36)
9. Her Majesty (Takes 1–3)
10. Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight (Takes 1–3 / Medley)
11. Here Comes The Sun (Take 9)
12. Maxwell’s Silver Hammer (Take 12)

CD THREE: Sessions
1. Come Together (Take 5)
2. The End (Take 3)
3. Come And Get It (Studio Demo)
4. Sun King (Take 20)
5. Mean Mr Mustard (Take 20)
6. Polythene Pam (Take 27)
7. She Came In Through The Bathroom Window (Take 27)
8. Because (Take 1 – Instrumental)
9. The Long One (Trial Edit & Mix – 30 July 1969)
(Medley: You Never Give Me Your Money, Sun King, Mean Mr Mustard, Her Majesty, Polythene Pam, She Came In Through The Bathroom Window, Golden Slumbers, Carry That Weight, The End)
10. Something (Take 39 – Instrumental – Strings Only)
11. Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight (Take 17 – Instrumental – Strings & Brass Only)

BLU-RAY: Abbey Road
Audio Features:
– Dolby Atmos
– 96kHz/24 bit DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
– 96kHz/24 bit High Res Stereo (2019 Stereo Mix)

DELUXE 3LP VINYL BOX SET (limited edition)

LP ONE: Side 1 (2019 Stereo Mix)
1. Come Together
2. Something
3. Maxwell’s Silver Hammer
4. Oh! Darling
5. Octopus’s Garden
6. I Want You (She’s So Heavy)

LP ONE: Side 2 (2019 Stereo Mix)
1. Here Comes The Sun
2. Because
3. You Never Give Me Your Money
4. Sun King
5. Mean Mr Mustard
6. Polythene Pam
7. She Came In Through The Bathroom Window
8. Golden Slumbers
9. Carry That Weight
10. The End
11. Her Majesty

LP TWO: Side 1 (Sessions)
1. I Want You (She’s So Heavy) (Trident Recording Session and Reduction Mix)
2. Goodbye (Home Demo)
3. Something (Studio Demo)
4. The Ballad Of John And Yoko (Take 7)
5. Old Brown Shoe (Take 2)

LP TWO: Side 2 (Sessions)
1. Oh! Darling (Take 4)
2. Octopus’s Garden (Take 9)
3. You Never Give Me Your Money (Take 36)
4. Her Majesty (Takes 1–3)
5. Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight (Takes 1–3) / Medley)
6. Here Comes The Sun (Take 9)
7. Maxwell’s Silver Hammer (Take 12)

LP THREE: Side 1 (Sessions)
1. Come Together (Take 5)
2. The End (Take 3)
3. Come and Get It (Studio Demo)
4. Sun King (Take 20)
5. Mean Mr Mustard (Take 20)
6. Polythene Pam (Take 27)
7. She Came In Through The Bathroom Window (Take 27)
8. Because (Take 1 Instrumental)

LP THREE: Side 2 (Sessions)
1. The Long One (Trial Edit & Mix – 30 July 1969)
2. Something (Take 39 – Instrumental – Strings Only)
3. Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight (Take 17 – Instrumental – Strings & Brass Only)

DELUXE 2CD

CD ONE: 2019 Stereo Mix

CD TWO: Sessions
1. Come Together (Take 5)
2. Something (Studio Demo)
3. Maxwell’s Silver Hammer (Take 12)
4. Oh! Darling (Take 4)
5. Octopus’s Garden (Take 9)
6. I Want You (She’s So Heavy) (Trident Recording Session & Reduction Mix)
7. Here Comes The Sun (Take 9)
8. Because (Take 1 Instrumental)
9. You Never Give Me Your Money (Take 36)
10. Sun King (Take 20)
11. Mean Mr Mustard (Take 20)
12. Polythene Pam (Take 27)
13. She Came In Through The Bathroom Window (Take 27)
14. Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight (Takes 1–3 / Medley)
15. The End (Take 3)
16. Her Majesty (Takes 1–3)

STANDARD [1CD; digital; 1LP vinyl; limited edition 1LP picture disc vinyl]
2019 Stereo Mix

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